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July 12-16, 2012

Japan-Korea Student Exchange Seminar 2012
(Tokyo, Japan, July 12-16, 2012)

Learning the origin and current trends of co-operative, and discussing the future

The Japan-Korea Students Exchange Seminar was held during July 12-16, 2012, in Tokyo. The seminar is held every year alternately in Japan and South Korea. It was held in Japan this year. From South Korea, 11 students and 2 staff of Korean University Co-operative Federation participated. From Japan, 6 students attended (in addition, students and co-op staff who exchanged in university co-ops visited, contributors and NFUCA staff, participants of Japan were over 30 people). The participants visited Japan Women’s University Co-op, Tokyo Gakugei University Co-op and Kagawa Archives & Resource Center. They studied together and exchanged opinions.

Impressions of a student from Kobe

“I was most impressed in the seminar by the positive attitude of Korean students. They expressed more and more opinions and questions in discussion time, which made me able to express my opinions positively. And the same positive attitude can be found in their student committee activities. I was inspired that they were struggling to promote university co-op, which was still low in awareness.

I really enjoyed exchanges with Korean students during the seminar. In the beginning of the seminar, I was worried whether I would be able to communicate, because the common language spoken was English. But when we were together, I felt that language was not so important. By seeing, listening and feeling the same thing, I was able to communicate naturally and had a great time. Especially, at the okonomiyaki restaurant which we went to on the second night, we talked about common actors/actresses in Korea and Japan, popular animations and movies. We felt so closer that the feeling led to active discussions on the last day of the seminar.

By learning about the current condition of Korean university co-ops, I was able to re-think about the Japanese university co-ops. In Japan, the awareness toward university co-ops and their membership rate are high. The system is also well-organized and university co-ops are also responsive to their members' needs. However, we must not feel satisfied and stop the co-ops growth. Instead, we, the student committee, must always think about what is a university co-op and what we can do in the future.

Erika Hata
Hanshin Block student office, Kobe City Univ. of Foreign Studies

Next year, the Asia student seminar is going to be held in South Korea. Students are invited not only from Japan and South Korea, but also from other Asian countries. We expect the participants to have lively discussion on promotion of university co-operative activities in the seminar.

Participants made presentation on university co-op of Japan and South Korea(picture: a student of Ewha Womans University Co-op, South Korea).
Participants made presentation on university co-op of Japan and South Korea(picture: a student of Ewha Womans University Co-op, South Korea).
They studied about Toyohiko Kagawa, the father of co-operative movement in Japan, at Kagawa Archives & Resource Center.
They studied about Toyohiko Kagawa, the father of co-operative movement in Japan, at Kagawa Archives & Resource Center.

Group discussion was held after a lecture on “sanchoku” (direct from the producer) in Japanese consumer co-ops.
Group discussion was held after a lecture on "sanchoku" (direct from the producer) in Japanese consumer co-ops.
This year's event marked the seminar's 10th anniversary (at Tokyo Gakugei University Co-op).
This year's event marked the seminar's 10th anniversary (at Tokyo Gakugei University Co-op).

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